It’s nice to have a sweet hour to pray

Published 8:39 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Oh, the plans of mice and men! Our plan to participate in the week of prayer and fasting at our church almost vanished in the busyness of the week. Mike and I intended to make it to the prayer room during the week as our pastor suggested to spend extra time in prayer.

The usual activities of life along with extra things that always come up gained our focus, and we went through the week in much the same manner as we usually do. Instead of food, we gave up TV for the week. As a matter of fact, we really enjoyed conversing more since our program of choice wasn’t capturing our attention.

This was a good thing, but we didn’t actually spend much more time in prayer than we usually do. We were pumped and ready at the beginning of the week, but lost our motivation in the day to day. Friday came, and we had not spent one hour at the prayer room.

Early Saturday morning I dressed quickly and quietly while Mike nestled under the covers sleeping in on his day off. The street fair in Picayune was calling my name. The crowds had not yet swelled, and the rain was holding off so I enjoyed looking at the booths and visiting with friends who were also early risers.

Soon, my cellphone rang interrupting a lively conversation with a local retailer out hawking his wares. Mike was on the other end reminding me that today was absolutely our last opportunity to make it to the prayer room before the week ended. I cut my conversation short, and headed toward my parked car to meet Mike there.

The prayer room was empty when we finally slipped in. The chairs that typically filled it had been replaced with table upon table filled with pictures. Next to many of the pictures a typed or hand written note listed the names and needs of the faces peering up at us. Other pictures were unnamed leaving us to look at them intently and pray whatever came into our hearts.

Row after row, photographs of families, babies, married couples, and everyone in between captured our interest and attention. Requests from “pray for my grandson to find a Godly wife” to “my husband is addicted to heroin; please pray” lined the tables. Several posters donned pictures of our governmental leaders as well as civil servants who work so hard for us.

While walking and praying through the room I pictured many of my own friends and family who needed prayer. I know that a special room and place is not necessary for

God to hear our prayers, but I realized I had missed an opportunity for hundreds of people to pray for folks that I know and love. With a sigh, I acknowledged that I had once again become a little self-absorbed and let my priorities get out of whack.

Before we knew it, an hour had passed. Hand in hand, Mike and I silently strolled back to the car thankful for our Savior’s love and forgiveness and this sweet hour of prayer.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at